Fermented Wheat Germ Extract
Also known by these names
Fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE) is a dietary supplement sold as brand names including Avemar, Avé, AvéULTRA, AWGE, Metatrol and OncoMAR.
Treating the Cancer
Working against cancer growth or spread, improving survival, or working with other treatments or therapies to improve their anticancer action
- Improved progression-free and overall survival in high-risk melanoma patients when added to treatment with dacarbazine in a pilot study1
- Improved progression-free and overall survival in people with colorectal cancer treated with radical surgery plus radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy2
- Improved immunity in pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy3
Lab and Animal Evidence
Managing Side Effects and Promoting Wellness
Managing or relieving side effects or symptoms, reducing treatment toxicity, supporting quality of life or promoting general well-being
In all, evidence to date is positive but not rigorous for improvements in side effects and quality of life:
- Improved quality of life with lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in a small study8 and with people with non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy9
- Improved physical functions, emotional functions, global state of health, nausea and vomiting, insomnia and constipation in breast cancer patients in a small study10
- Improved quality of life in head and neck cancer patients when added to standard therapy11
- Reduced chemotherapy-induced fever that accompanies an abnormally low number of neutrophil granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood in pediatric cancer patients12 and fewer immune compromised/neutropenic episodes in pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy13
FWGE is not recommended for use by pregnant and nursing women, patients with sensitivity to gluten, those with fructose intolerance, or patients with organ or tissue transplants.
Because FWGE may have estrogen-receptor activity, if you have an estrogen-dependent cancer (some breast, ovarian or uterine cancer) and are thinking about taking FWGE, consult with a licensed provider who is knowledgeable and experienced with using this supplement in cancer.
Fermented wheat germ extract supplements are widely available.
BCCT does not recommend therapies or doses, but only provides information for patients and providers to consider as part of a complete treatment plan. Patients should discuss therapies with their physicians, as contraindications, interactions and side effects must be evaluated. Levels of active ingredients of natural products can vary widely between and even within products. See Quality and Sources of Herbs, Supplements and Other Natural Products.
Dosage recommendations are available from these sources:
Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems
|For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.|
- Programs and protocols
Non-cancer Uses of FWGE
FWGE has been used in treatment for heart disease as well as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease. BCCT has not reviewed the effectiveness of this therapy for non-cancer uses.
Written by Nancy Hepp, MS, with review by Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS; most recent update on August 14, 2019.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s About Herbs: Wheat germ extract
- CAM-Cancer Summaries: Fermented wheat germ extract
- Moss Reports (purchase required): Select from the list of cancers down the left side of the page for a report describing uses of conventional, complementary, alternative and integrative therapies related to that cancer. Ralph Moss is among the most knowledgeable and balanced researchers of integrative cancer therapies. The cost of his Moss Reports is not negligible, but many patients find them of considerable value. Moss is also available for consultations.
- TRC Natural Medicines: Fermented Wheat Germ Extract (subscription required): in-depth information, ratings of effectiveness and safety and evaluation of specific resveratrol products
- Susan G. Komen: Fermented wheat germ extract
- Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella: The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition